Self care is not “selfish”

Hello fellow snarks,

Have you ever been called selfish for taking time for yourself? Do you feel like everyone in your life is taking top priority?

The definition of selfish: (of a person, action or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with ones own personal profit or pleasure.

The connotation of the word selfish is usually negative. This usage of the word makes people hesitate to put themselves and their interests first. But, when you read the above definition, is there really anything wrong with “being concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure?” If you aren’t concerned with it, who is?

It’s hard to make the decision to prioritize yourself, but it’s also essential. Of course you can go too far and become the kind of “selfish” that people refer to negatively. Being oblivious to the needs and desires of others is not the goal we are discussing. The goal is to figure out what gives you pleasure. To figure out how you make profit to support your needs. And then focus there.

Life is hectic. There will never be more than 24 hours in a day. Running until you are exhausted doesn’t benefit anyone. You can schedule self care, just like any other appointment. Set aside thirty minutes a day, or two hours a week or a full day each quarter. Start small and gauge how much scheduled time you need. Provide yourself the time and effort you need to keep kicking ass is all other areas of your life.

Personally, I feel that self care is primarily about knowing myself. I pay close attention to my motives and to my moods. Am I doing things for the right reasons? Am I exhausted and negative? Each day I tell myself that my health is the most important thing and take time to listen to my body. I also reflect on my feelings and give myself opportunities to work through them.

Only have a small window of time? Try–enjoying coffee or tea outside, taking a brisk walk, listening to music that you enjoy, text or talk to a friend, read articles, meditate, journal, watch funny videos…anything to get your mood elevated.

When you have longer window of time you can focus on a hobby or activity that you love, you can watch a movie or TV series, read, pamper yourself with a spa appointment or at home in your own tub, hike, cook, bake…the options are endless.

Take care of you snarks!

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